What was the focus of the Fed chairman's speech Thursday in Chicago? Asia, Asia, Asia. The doldrums of that troubled region -- and its ripple effects on the U.S. economy -- have become the subject of almost all of Greenspan's public statements. And Asia will be the dominant factor in the Fed's May 19 decision.
"The Fed is in a bind," says TIME Business reporter Bernie Baumohl. "Even if it wanted to, raising rates now would tie up U.S. capital that Asia desperately needs for its recovery. Greenspan won't risk a catastrophe." So call your broker, and tell him not to worry.